The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) has said since 2015, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has not allocated any money to fund rice import even as it said at least N1.2bn worth of rice is consumed daily in Nigeria.
RIFAN also debunked claims from some quarters that CBN owed RIFAN contractors who supplied farm inputs in the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) being implemented by the bank.
The National President of RIFAN, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, said this in Abuja in a chat with newsmen while reacting to an advertorial by “concerned RIFAN contractors” claiming the CBN owed them billions of naira.
The advertorial, titled ‘Rice Farmers Association contractors cry out: An open letter to President Buhari’ and signed by one Mr. Christopher Gajere, said “the contractors are being forced out of business because of the billions of naira the CBN owed them for months.”
But in a swift reaction, RIFAN claimed the group was faceless and the name of the person that signed the open letter cannot be traced as an input supplier to the farmers under the ABP.
It said there was no such thing as “RIFAN Contractors” but “RIFAN Suppliers” adding that “among our 25 inputs suppliers and five services providers, making 30 in number, we don’t have such a name among those who have given RIFAN service or supplied RIFAN any inputs.”
Alh. Goronyo also stated that RIFAN discovered that a name of an individual was used to countersign the advertorial, and explained that RIFAN didn’t deal with individuals but corporate organisations. “That alone has clearly shown to us that the open letter has nothing to do with RIFAN,” he stated.
According to him, it appeared the individual or group were out to discredit the landmark achievements recorded in rice sufficiency through the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme.